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Maria B

Getting kids to think...

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Maria B

I'm homeschooling 4 kids, ages 10, 9, 7, and 6. Recently I've noticed a trend with especially my two older boys leaning toward just trying to deduce the right answer (especially in math!) and no interest in actually understanding. One of my biggest reasons for homeschooling is because I want them to think, engage, and care. The lazy factor lately is really catching me off guard, coupled with amazing outright defiance. As soon as real thought is involved they melt. I've been talking to a few homeschool moms with kids of similar age and they all say they are seeing similar behavior. I'm trying to combat this with books on things they are interested in, asking open ended questions and a variety of projects (posters, comic books, simple journal writing, art)...but there's not a whole lot I can do with math. They don't care if they know how to do the problem, they just care about getting it right. (We have been doing a computer program (Monarch) for math. I won't be doing that next year because its encourage them to click around for the answer and then I have to go back, reset the lesson and go over it with them while they grumble that they DO understand, they just can't explain it or give me the answer...) Multiple days a week I'm saying "ok, we're done, you can do math with your father when he gets home." So I'm looking for 2 things, 1) How do you encourage kids to care about learning and actually understanding? 2) Math curriculum suggestions for boys who really could care less about math...

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Dianna

Maria, it may be spring fever (homeschool burnout).This happens a lot to students (and parents!) this time of year. I recommend dropping what's not working, and trying to do as many non-textbook-y activities as possible (like those described here: https://www.carolinahomeschooler.com/trial-run/  and also read this: https://www.carolinahomeschooler.com/does-this-count/. This will help your children to love to learn, and hopefully take more ownership of their own learning.

The Key-To Math series (especially Decimals, Fractions, Percents, Measurements, and Metric Measurement) would be a good change of pace and introduce (or re-introduce) math concepts until you decide on a different program for next year. (See samples here: https://www.christianbook.com/page/homeschool/math/key-curriculum-press.) 

I hope this helps!

Warmly,
Dianna

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